by Bill Freitas
When the Rays are on a hot streak, people tell us not to get too excited. It's a long season. When they're on a losing streak, those same condescending folks tell us not to get too upset. It's a long season. Well, I'm done being told how to feel. What's the point of a 162 game marathon if you're not allowed to be proud and pissed within a few days of each other?
Skipper Joe Maddon made a reference to the bats on this club as being a little "schizophrenic" lately. Well, pardon us for acting in kind, baseball snobs. If the goal is to remain stoic until the season is over so it can be accurately graded with the benefit of hindsight, what the hell is the point of watching? When our team is playing well, we commend them. When they play like doo-doo, we call them out on the doo-doo play. That's not bandwagon fandom, it's a fluid passionate analysis that can and does evolve as the scenery changes. So, shut-up and let us be human, you elitist turds.
We know slumps happen. Spare us the unsolicited lecture. It's nauseatingly annoying. We know it's a long season. You think that cliche up yourself, Einstein? And you're right. If the Rays snap their losing streak and start playing better, the same fans that are ticked-off today will be tickled pink tomorrow. Does that make you feel smart? Piss off.
Where was I?
Right, the Rays. Five losses in a row is pathetic and inexcusable for a team this talented. Your feast or famine collective performance at the plate lately is embarrassing. Give the hitting coach a spanking, sacrifice a live chicken, sleep with your bats and give them a girl's name, cram a cow bell in your pants, whatever you have to do. Just get better and be consistent about it. And do it fast, only 51 gut-checks to go.
Leading the American league in strike-outs still didn't prevent Maddon from unnecessarily pointing out the painfully obvious.
"We've been striking out way too much."
Gold Joe, gold.
I'm no Karnak the Magnificent, but I can't in good conscience predict a post-season of any significance to a club who was one 9th inning hit away from becoming the only other team to get three no-hitters thrown against them in a single year since the Brooklyn Superbas in 1906 (good times, the first Victrola record player was manufactured that year).
Quicker Hits: Emmitt Smith apologizes to Gator Nation for leaving them out of his NFL HOF acceptance speech Saturday night complete with "Gator Chomp" (I'm not saying I'm a fan or anything, but my dog's name happens to be Emmitt. Coincidence? Spoiler Alert: No); proof that Tim Tebow doesn't and never has taken himself too seriously, the Bronco quarterback took his rookie hazing in good fun sporting his new "Friar Tuck dew" at training camp (Meanwhile, Cowboy rookie receiver Dez Bryant is still out with a high ankle sprain. Oh Karma, you wicked little bitch, you); and Keith Olbermann has been removed from NBC's Football Night in America. He blamed Bush.